Today’s Leadership Reminders

Reading feedback today from our first Growth Track session last night and I am reminded of some important leadership principles…

Be willing to listen to other peoples opinions. It can make for uncomfortable reading but by involving others you have the potential to take something which is good and make it so much better. This is why I love that we are doing a ‘pilot run’ of the Growth Track, for such a reason and some of the comments are great.

Be willing to admit when it wasn’t quite right. All the planning in the world doesn’t make up for actually going through something with a bunch of people. The feedback just reminded me of things I had meant to say, they were in my notes but I just forgot.

Be willing to work hard at making necessary changes. Some of these are on me to do and then getting others to help with the rest. It’s no good listening to comments to just ignore them. Leaders execute stuff, they get stuff done and work hard to make things better.

Team is always best. This for me is an example of Team Xcel at it’s very best, collaborating on what we all agree will be a great success and help many people in their journey with God. Team can also help in making the suggestions happen too.

It’s all about helping people move on one step with God. It’s why I am excited about the Growth Track and what it can mean for people and their connection with God, with others, with their purpose and with the church family.

What have your leadership reminders been today?

Inviting Feedback [Friday Leaders Post]

Always better as a leader to invite feedback than only getting the feedback you receive uninvited.

Leaders need to be willing to learn and to be willing to listen. Leadership is about more than being right, it’s about being credible.

If I refuse to listen eventually people will stop talking to me. They will stop telling me things. The things I like to hear but also the things I need to hear, however difficult they might be.

So here’s a great question for any leader to ask of their team and those who they have responsibility for…

If you were me, what would you do differently? 

Don’t be unnecessarily unkind and don’t be anonymous either in how you answer, but I am happy to hear your thoughts if you want to.

Listen In.

We need to listen in.

We need to have an ear to hear what’s going on.

I’m not talking about eavesdropping. I’m thinking more about the development of a genuine interest in the conversations going on around us. Tonight, as I sit upstairs, I can hear the hubbub of the Connect Group happening in our front room. A bunch of young people discussing the recent series in Church. I can’t make out what they are saying yet it’s a beautiful sound to hear.

It’s full of the encouragement of friends. The sharing of thoughts and ideas. Prayers being spoken over one another. In the rush of my day I could easily miss this.

Listening is an art that many have lost. We talk too much. Some of us talk far too much. We have something to say and no time to listen. We want our questions answered and our opinions heard, yet I feel that maybe it there is a greater benefit if we would just listen more, listen to the sound of the hearts of the people around us. That maybe we should ask more questions about them and avoid just talking about ourselves, again.

Listening isn’t easy. In a world of non-stop noise it’s difficult to hear, so let’s pay better attention. Let’s celebrate the good things we hear but also be willing to be an ear for those who are troubled. Let’s listen to the stories, the journeys, the searching. Let’s close our own mouths and encourage others to open theirs.

Listen for what isn’t spoken. The cry of a heart is louder when you actually listen out for it. Unspoken words are often the most powerful words. That real meaning to what is being said. Let’s be people who ask the Holy Spirit to give them wisdom to hear what’s going on in the heart of our friends.

Listen to what God is saying. I think God can shout. However, a shout is still useless if we have already chosen not to listen. When we make time and pay attention, the whisper of God can sound more like a hurricane. I want to hear God’s voice. I need to hear God’s voice.

Listen in. God has something to say.

Listen in. The people around us are saying something and they need us to hear. We mustn’t be so busy about what we want that it gets missed.

Have You Heard?

When I read about Noah I see a man who was just trying to do what he knew was right. To live a good life. To maintain his integrity while everyone else cared less about such things.

What I really love most when I read about Noah is the main thing that seems to have got him noticed was the simple act of walking with God. That’s how he was known and the rest of his life was a by-product of that choice. And that saved him. I’m convinced I can do this walking with God thing too.

More than that, walking with God, living from a position of close relationship with God, meant Noah heard the voice of God. Not only did he hear Gods voice but he followed through on what he heard and that is the kind of life I definitely need to keep working on.

Walking with God positioned Noah to hear from God.
Hearing from God meant Noah had to be willing to listen to God.
Listening to God meant Noah had be determined to respond to God.
Responding to God meant Noah had to show commitment to doing what God said.
Doing what God said shows that Noah was disciplined and it produced a life of blessing.

Maybe I’ve over-simplified. However, simple or not, I know I don’t get it right all the time. If I don’t feel like I am hearing from God then I need to check my position. Get back to that first question: how’s my walk with God? I’m confident that if I stay close to God, walk with Him, then I am more likely to hear Him speak. Strikes me as not that complicated. Just put yourself in the right space to hear God’s voice.

Be in the House of God. 
Get planted. Remove distractions. 
Read the Word. Pray. Give
Hang out with other Christians. 
Get actively involved in building local church.

My summary for Noah would be just 5 words: Walk. Hear. Listen. Respond. Do. When I read about Noah I think that was all he was really concerned about and he managed it without anyone else having the same conviction. Plus, he didn’t have access to many of the tools we have that help us in our relationship with God.

So, my prayer is easy. Lord, don’t let me get distracted. Help me to keep walking with you, to be able to hear what you want to say to me and then give me the courage to respond and to do what you are asking me to do. Amen

How about you?

Who Is Listening?

Seth Godin put a great post on his blog recently asking the simple question: are they ready to listen?

He states that ‘Most people, most of the time, steadfastly refuse to pay attention’.

As a Pastor/Leader I have to pay attention to stuff like this. I am in the business of marketing the greatest message. The methods might change but the message stays the same. How can I make sure people are ready? Every week over 500 people come to the various venues of Xcel Church so it becomes a very valid question to ask: are they ready to listen?

These are my own thoughts here but I imagine Church is made up of a variety of different types of people…

…those who come, listen, grasp a hold of everything, eat, live & breathe God and have a real desire to make a difference
…those who come, listen to the stuff they like but miss out on the rest
…those who come, attenders only
…those who come, don’t really listen but want to be listened to

Perhaps the challenge for me as a leader is to make sure that what I am saying is worth listening to, making sure that I am talking about Gods view (not my view) on stuff that everyone else is talking about and would therefore be more willing to listen.

Share your thoughts: what are the issues you think Church should be talking about?